Can I Bring Protein Powder and Other Supplements on My Flight?
When it comes to traveling, pills and powders are always a bit tricky. But will your fitness supplements make it through the TSA security check at the airport?
Endless Reddit threads and fitness forums have been devoted to this question, and the internet is rife with horror stories about travelers attempting to get their protein powders and vitamins through airport security. But now we’re putting the speculation to rest once and for all. Yes, you can fly with your protein powder and other supplements. And they can even go in your carry-on bag.
According to the TSA, protein powders and non-prescription pills are on the “approved items” list, and there’s no limit to the amount of protein powder or other non-prescription pills you can have in your carry-on bag. The exception to the rule is liquid supplements, which fall under the same rule as all liquid carry-ons: only bottles 3.8 ounces or smaller are allowed in your carry-on bag.
Tips for traveling with your protein powder and other supplements
We know that we should avoid routine to maximize our muscle building; but when it comes to our daily protein intake, consistency is everything. Depending on where you’re traveling, it can be difficult to meet your protein needs. And as some travelers report, the cost of protein powder goes up once you step foot outside the U.S. The same can be said for many other specialty supplements. If you don’t have time to order online and ship supplements to your travel destination, you could be stuck with the limited inventory—and high prices—of local fitness shops.
Whether you’re looking to prioritize fitness or simply ensure you have a quality source of nutrients no matter where you are in the world, there are many benefits of bringing your supplements along for your next trip. Now that you know you can carry them with you on your flight, here are a few tips to make the entire process easier.
- Mark your supplements and powders. Don’t give airport security any reason to be suspicious. Identify your protein powder and other supplements clearly (in the original packaging, if possible), but with a clear label at a minimum.
- Remove supplements from your luggage during the security check: Just like your liquids and laptop, protein powder and other supplements need to go directly on the conveyor belt during your security check. If agents are unsure about your protein powder after it goes through the x-ray, expect them to swab and test it on the spot.
- Limit the amount to what you actually need: Although there’s no expressed limit for how many non-prescription pills you can carry with you onto your flight, an excessive amount will understandably raise red flags. Bring the number of vitamins and other supplements that you really need.
- Use compressor bags to save space: You know as well as we do that those plastic protein powder tubs take up unnecessary space—if they fit into your carry-on luggage at all. But plastic bags just aren’t durable, especially if you’re traveling long distances. Try packing your protein powder in compression bags to save tons of space and avoid a mess.
- Try single serving sizes: Some brands now sell single-serving protein powders. But like anything else that’s pre-packaged, these packs can be much more expensive than purchasing a tub of your favorite protein powder. Still, depending on the duration of your travel, it might make sense for you to explore this as an alternative to packing bags of protein powder.
- Consider checking your supplements: If you’re in a hurry or simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of labeling and sorting, consider putting them in your checked bag instead. Sure, that means you won’t have your supplements on the flight itself, but this could save you time (and a headache) as you’re moving through the security line.
There’s no denying that it can take an effort to prioritize fitness while traveling. In one study, 54% of business travelers admitted that their health and fitness routines are interrupted on work trips. But whether it means investing in a portable workout kit or bringing your must-have supplements with you, the modern fitness-savvy traveler has tons of options for staying fit on the road. Following the simple steps above will help you bring your must-have supplements with you on your journey—minus the frustration.